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CAB Connection - February 2022

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CASA End of Year


In Memory of Eileen Gengler, FCRB Volunteer

It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Eileen Gengler, a member of the Clay Cluster FCRB, passed away unexpectedly on January 10, 2022 at the age of 68. Eileen began serving on the local board in 2019 and was still very active in her school, community and church. Her experiences and background in education and guidance counseling were invaluable to the children reviewed by the board. Throughout her career and life of service, Eileen touched the lives of many people, challenging them to do better while giving them encouragement and hope. She will be greatly missed!


Welcome to Our New Volunteers!

Brooke Alesch, CASA, Johnson County Kaylee Hendrix, CASA, Muscatine County
Carol Schmitt, CASA, Dubuque County Riley Suefert, CASA, Johnson County
Mac Twyford, CASA, Marshall County  



Carol Bamford 1948-2021
ICAB’s Tribute

Carol was a passionate advocate for Iowa children who had experienced abuse and neglect. In 2007, she started work as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). After showing her high level of commitment to helping the court and child welfare agencies look at alternatives for permanent solutions for the children she served, she used her knowledge and skills to coach other CASAs in their work with children. Adding to this direct work with children, Carol offered her help to the ICAB programs by giving her time to broadcast the need for more CASA and FCRB volunteers throughout the state. Her understanding of the role of the CASA and the importance of their advocacy to vulnerable children allowed her to develop compelling messages, using both words and visuals to appeal to potential new volunteers. Her many years as a marketing and communications professional allowed her to share great insight on how to approach possible volunteers and folks who might be interested in supporting the CASA program in other ways. In this volunteer role, she would develop graphics, reports, media content and online marketing content in rapid response to requests for help from the staff. She did all this through her love for the children who needed advocacy help. On top of all her expertise as an advocate and a marketing professional, Carol was the most wonderful and caring person to work with, always with good humor and encouragement for those around her. We feel a great sense of loss upon Carol's untimely passing, not only for the fantastic work she did, but also because of the laughter, hope and joy she brought to our lives.  Jim Hennessey, former ICAB Administrator/Friends of Iowa CASA/FCRB volunteer.

Kevin Schnoebelen, Carol’s local CASA coordinator, shared that through her 14 years of service Carol was a great advocate for the many cases she had. Some of those ended in reunification and others ended in TPR and adoption. Over the years, judges, attorneys, DHS workers, and providers have shared how she was helpful to the case with the information she was able to provide to the court. Once Carol had gained experience she required very little supervision and became a CASA coach for many years; she was wonderful in that role. When she passed away she was coaching three volunteers advocating for 6 children. She will be greatly missed. 

Jamie Galligan and Julia Galasso are two of the CASA volunteers Carol coached. Jamie said, “Carol was my coach, friend, and mentor. I admired Carol because of her professional, hardworking approach and genuinely caring for those around her. She represented the best approach in life to give/serve others. She will always be a beacon for me to do the same.  My heart is broken to know that I cannot talk and laugh with her again!” 

Julia described Carol as putting her heart and soul into this work and how Carol made her feel more comfortable in the role of a CASA. Carol shared her advice, direction, and assurance. During those first few months of Julia’s case when things were very confusing and she was unsure how to navigate all of the problems, Carol was there. Julia said, “Carol was an expert at knowing what to do; many times, she helped me get my court report ready.” Carol’s words ‘focus on the kids’ were important. 

Those of us in the State Office who worked closely with Carol on various things have shared our sentiments here:

Amy Carpenter, CASA Deputy Director, stated, “I am so thankful I had the opportunity to know Carol. Our programs are better because of her work. She understood her talents and was compelled to share those talents where they were needed. Carol had a calling and she humbly followed it, while taking the time to teach others. Her absence is felt deeply in our organization.” 

Sherri Ripperger, Admin. Asst. said, “The loss of Carol leaves a giant hole in our agency. She did so much for us without ever wanting recognition, because she believed in our mission. Some of Carol's repeated messages to me on emails were, "We'll figure it out."  "I'll pay for it."  "I'll dig into it." We will miss you, Carol. You were such an inspiration to me.” 

Recruitment/Marketing Specialist Marla Treiber shared, “Working with Carol was a God-send to an agency who had no experienced designated media/website design staff. I learned a great deal from her. We shared some similar life experiences which fostered a great team when it came to the many projects we completed together. We both had something to offer the other in viewpoints, knowledge, strengths and skills. Those who knew Carol best have appreciated her candor, her care, her responsiveness, and her ability to lift your spirits while assuring you it will be ok. It was an honor to work with Carol and I will not forget her.”

Steffani Simbric, ICAB Administrator submitted the following for ICAB’s FY21 Annual Report in memory of Carol. “There is no way the Iowa Child Advocacy Board could do what we do without our amazing volunteers. We value ALL of them and the work they do on behalf of the children we serve. They are to be treasured.   

One of our treasures, Carol Bamford, passed away at the end of 2021. To say we are incredibly saddened is an understatement. Besides being a CASA and a CASA Coach for several years, Carol was instrumental in ICAB’s marketing efforts. Marketing was her professional career and, for several years, she chose to share this skill with us. Carol was instrumental in the management of our website, creation of campaign and information materials, branding compliance and assembled our annual report. No matter what we needed help with, she always did it with complete enthusiasm. We will be forever thankful for her dedicated service to us.     

Carol’s death has created a huge gap in the Iowa Child Advocacy Board community. We will pick up and move forward, but not easily. This world is not the same without her.”  

Trainer's Corner

For FCRB Members & CASA Advocates:  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


The Iowa Child Advocacy Board recognizes and respects that the topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion can make people uncomfortable and stir up strong emotions. Learning and thinking more about race, diversity, equity and inclusion may result in changes to how you see yourself, others, or the world. This can be beneficial to how you advocate for the children our programs serve.  But we must approach these changes with humility and a positive attitude, without engaging in self-blame or shame, towards ourselves or others. If you find yourself developing negative thoughts, take a step back and center yourself before re-engaging with the material. See if you can find someone you trust to engage with you with questions. Recognize that others may not have the same understanding of these topics as you do, or may not wish to discuss them. Allow them that space. Remember that your local program coordinator is a support for your learning needs and advocacy journey.  Please reach out for support as needed.  We are here for You!  Click here to see how the Iowa Census data reveals an increase in our diversity and click here to see our statewide population trends. 

Continuing Ed

Thank you for your willingness to expand your knowledge, particularly about topics that may affect the children and families we serve.  Review these National CASA catalogs from 2020 and 2021 of previous webinars that are available for your viewing to receive in-service credit.  Reach out to your Local Coordinator to learn more. 

Use the following podcast list as a resource for your continuous learning journey.  If you elect to listen to a podcast and would like to earn additional independent study in-service training credit, please reach out to the State Trainer at lesa.christianson@dia.iowa.gov.



An audio series from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. Project creator and host Nikole Hannah-Jones was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for the 1619 Project.  Listen Here.

Seeing White 
Scene on Radio host and producer John Biewen took a deep dive into the concept of “Whiteness,” along with an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, in this Peabody award winning fourteen-part documentary series. Listen Here.

Who Belongs? 
Who Belongs? was launched in fall 2018 as the Othering & Belonging Institute's official podcast. The question of who belongs in our societies, whether local, national, or global, is one of the central drivers that underpin how people are othered, or how the conditions of belonging are created. This podcast addresses this foundational question to open pathways to explore a range of policies, movements, scholarship, and narratives that get us closer to the goal we seek, which is to advance a society where all belong. Listen Here.

Hear from children and youth about the moment they collided with law enforcement and how that changed them forever. Listen Here.


The 2022 ICAB Speaker Series

In January 2022, the Iowa Child Advocacy Board State Office started offering a year-long speaker series to support your continuous learning journey within our organization and your advocacy efforts as a CASA or FCRB volunteer. 

Join us as we gather together in learning!


Inclusion Through a Different Lens will be offered on February 7th from 1 to 2 pm .  This session is presented by Breanne Ward, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a nationally recognized certified rehabilitation counselor with the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). In 2014, she founded ForWard Consulting, LLC to provide culturally relevant speaking engagements and more motivation-led conversations for community change.  Since that time, she has been contracted to provide key training initiatives to Iowa’s Department of Human Services caseworkers and supervisors and has joined with ICAB to share practical and relevant ways to address cultural differences within staff relations and direct service with families for CASA and FCRB volunteers and staff. Click here to register! This session will meet your 2022 annual diversity training requirement. 


Adoption in CINA Cases presented by DHS Adoption Program Manager, Laura Leise on February 24, 2022 from Noon to 1 pm. Learn about the adoption process and adoption assistance benefits that may be available to families who adopt children from foster care in Iowa.
Click here to register!


A Judge's Perspective on the Past, Present, and Future of Advocacy in Iowa presented by Judge William Owens on March 3, 2022 from Noon to 1pm.

Join us as Judge Owens shares examples of how CASA or FCRB reports have directly assisted the understanding of case issues, the specific needs of the child or in issuing court orders. In addition, hear what key areas advocates and board members can focus on for gathering information and/or recommendations for their court report and identify areas of child or family well-being in which our advocacy efforts can be improved. Click here to Register! Judge Owens, is an Associate Juvenile Judge & Child Advocacy Board Member, Co-chair of the Advisory Committee, Iowa Supreme Court Children's Justice; Member of the Children’s Justice State Council; Chair of the Juvenile Judge Committee of the Iowa Judges Association, and appointed to the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Judicial Leadership Council.

Question Mark

If you have questions, please contact the State Trainer at lesa.christianson@dia.iowa.gov.